Stephen Curry did everything he could on Monday night in Los Angeles.
But in the end it was Lonnie Walker — yes, Lonnie Walker — who put the Lakers just one game away from reaching the Western Conference Finals.
The Lakers beat Curry and the Golden State Warriors 104-101 in Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal series on Monday night. After Walker made a big run to bring the Lakers back in the lead in the fourth quarter, he dropped all 15 of his points in the final period of the three-point victory.
LeBron James said, “For him to be as young as he is, for him to have that professionalism, to come out and be ready when his number came, we couldn't have won this game tonight without Lonnie Walker, it Sure.” on tnt after the win.
thanks to a big 14-6 burst in the second quarter, the Warriors only held a three-point lead at halftime on Monday night. Although both teams traded some runs in the third, it was Curry and the Warriors who came out on top by the end of the period. Curry also made a wild assist to Dante DiVincenzo to stop the Lakers going late in the quarter.
But that lead evaporated almost immediately to start the fourth quarter. The Lakers opened the period on an 11–4 run mainly powered by Walker which tied things up immediately. The Lakers limited the Warriors to just one Curry layup in the final three minutes of the game, while Walker and James pushed them to a three-point victory.
Curry and the Warriors got some good looks in the end as well. They only had a pair of missed shots with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game that could have put them back on top. But Walker hit a pair of free throws after those misses, and Draymond Green turned the ball over, officially handing the win to the Lakers.
“We're just a resilient bunch,” James said on TNT. “They hit us with mower after mower after mower after trying to knock us down. We just kept fighting. It's a 48-minute game, it's a 12-round boxing match, and we're here for 12 rounds.” Stayed for the man. We won.”
James led the Lakers with 27 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Anthony Davis, who dropped 19 points in the first half, finished with only 23 points and 15 rebounds. Austin Reeves finished with 21 points. In the final round, the Lakers defeated the Warriors 27–17.
Curry had an incredible performance with 31 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds and just the third playoff triple-double of his career. Andrew Wiggins added 17 points, and Klay Thompson finished with nine points on three 3-pointers. The Warriors shot just 12-of-41 from behind the arc, and went only 6-of-17 from the field in the fourth quarter.
Warriors survive haphazard first half
Within minutes of the start of the game at the Crypto.com Arena, Warriors guard Gary Payton suddenly stood upright at defensive end and headed for the Warriors' bench. Something was clearly wrong, but it was hard to tell what. After the Warriors got a stop and pushed the play to the other end, however, Peyton walked right off the court and went straight back to the locker room.
However, his other four teammates had no idea that Payton had quit. This led to a very strange green pass to the Lakers' assistant coach.
There is an unproven theory that Peyton actually vomited, but watch that video at your own risk,
Payton started in place of Jamichael Green. He had averaged just over 11 minutes per game so far in the series. To his credit, Payton returned to the game after a few minutes as if nothing had happened. He finished with 15 points and shot 7-of-9 from the field.
That wasn't the only thing Golden State missed in the first half. Midway through the second quarter, Green caught an outlet pass and was going up for a layup when James tackled him and sent him sprawling across the court. Green's head also turned backward as he fell, and hit the court hard.
This left Green down in obvious pain for some time.
After a review, the officials determined that it was a general foul while James and Green remained in the game. He also pulled off an incredible trick just moments later, and was clearly fine.
He finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.
Game 5 of the series is set for Wednesday night at the Chase Center in San Francisco. A win for the Lakers would send them back to their first Western Conference Finals appearance since they won the title in 2020 at Walt Disney World.